The Equity Professional Program

The Equity Foundation hosts more than 100 events a year throughout Australia and New Zealand. The program is developed in close collaboration with performers.

The Equity Foundation's masterclasses are designed to address our members’ need for ongoing professional development and provide rare opportunities to work with leading directors, coaches and casting agents.
Our workshop series is an opportunity to work on specifics, such as acting for the camera, comedy, dancing, voiceovers and accents. Up to 10 members work over a two-hour period with an expert in their field.
In Conversation
As part of the foundation’s In Conversation series, performers are given the opportunity to attend an intimate question and answer session with leading international actors and directors. Sir Ian McKellen, Richard E Grant, Sam Neill, and Cate Blanchett are among those who have participated in the In Conversation events.
Casting Hothouse 
Each year the Equity Foundation hosts a Casting Hothouse, which gives performers a unique opportunity to work with international casting agents, such as CBS TV Studios’ vice president of casting Matt Skrobalak and US feature film casting director Margery Simkin.
Student Days
We know how difficult it can be getting a toehold in the entertainment industry, so each year the Equity Foundation holds an industry day designed to provide graduates with important information and tools to help them on their way to a successful performance career.

Events Program

Musical Theatre Masterclass With Simon Burke AO And Daniel Edmonds

31 May 2016
09:30:00 -  16:30:00
The registration period is from 10 May 2016 09:00:00 to 30 May 2016 22:00:00

Event description:

A full day musical theatre masterclass for South Australian Equity members with Simon Burke AO and musical director, Daniel Edmonds. Professional performers will be able to draw on Simon's 25 years experience as a leading man in musical theatre both in Australia and the West End, as well as Daniel's vast experience as vocal coach, accompanist and musical director.

Simon and Daniel will cover:
• Acting through song 
• Using your individuality as a strength 
• Crossing genres convincingly 
• Choosing repertoire for auditions

Each performer will be required to bring 3 songs and be prepared to work with Simon and Daniel on at least one.

Feedback from previous attendees of this masterclass has been glowing:
• It was a wonderful day and a fantastic opportunity. It was also a great opportunity to get up and challenge myself in front of a bunch of incredible artists.
• I learnt so much by watching other people work and learn up on the floor with warm, generous and ridiculously talented Simon and Daniel.
• It was an absolute joy and I've been glowing all evening!

Please note: This masterclass is for the professional performers, but not necessarily from the music theatre world. Perhaps you are a film or stage performer with little or no music theatre credits. Or a dancer who wants to work on your audition songs. Or a classically trained singer who would like to connect more with the text and meaning of your material.

Bio of hosts:

Simon Burke AO
At age 13, Simon Burke made his acting debut in the 1976 classic feature film The Devil’s Playground, winning the Australian Film Institute Best Actor award. He remains the youngest-ever recipient of this honour. Simon recently starred in Foxtel's six-part mini-series Devil's Playground, in which he reprised the role of ‘Tom Allen’, the character he played 40 years ago in the original film. Simon was also Executive Producer of the project, which in 2015 won both the AACTA and Logie awards for Most Outstanding Telefeature or Mini Series.
Simon has appeared in over 130 stage productions in Australia and the UK. In London's West End he has starred as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Raoul in Phantom of the Opera, Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music opposite Dame Judi Dench, Georges in La Cage Aux Folles opposite John Barrowman, and in the European premieres of the Australian classics Holding the Man and When the Rain Stops Falling. He most recently starred opposite Todd McKenney in La Cage Aux Folles for the Production Company, in The Wharf Revue and Mrs. Warren’s Profession for Sydney Theatre Company and played Mr Banks in Disney's Mary Poppins. Other Australian musical theatre highlights highlights include Marius in the original Australian cast of Les Miserables, Billy in Anything Goes (Green Room Award Best Actor in a musical), Billy Flynn in Chicago, Dexter in High Society, Vernon in They're Playing Our Song, Whizzer in Falsettos. Simon created the role of Francis Bacon in Stephen Sewell's Three Furies for Sydney and Adelaide Festivals, (nominated Best Actor Sydney Critic Circle Awards). In 2009 Simon was thrilled to make his debut at Carnegie Hall, where he hosted and performed in a gala concert Australia Plays Broadway.
Simon has appeared in countless television productions including Rake, Hustle, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, The Alice, Brides of Christ, Scales of Justice, Water Rats, South Pacific and Grass Roots, and he hosted his own variety series for Foxtel, Studio A with Simon Burke. Also on Foxtel, Simon hosted and co-wrote the Helpmann Awards from their inception in 2001 until 2006 and again in 2012, and for 25 years was one of ABC TV''s Play School's best-loved presenters
His feature film credits include Passion, Pitch Black, Travelling Light and the forthcoming Super Awesome, for which he co-wrote and recorded the film’s theme song Man to Man.
His critically acclaimed debut solo album Something About Always is available in the theatre foyer and on iTunes.
Simon was President of Actors Equity from 2004-2014 and has been a proud member of his union for 40 years. He was made an honorary life member of the MEAA in March 2015. In June 2015 he was awarded an AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) in the Queen's Birthday Honours for distinguished service to the performing arts as an actor, singer and producer.

Daniel Edmonds
Daniel Edmonds is a musical director, arranger, composer and pianist. His work in the theatre, on the concert stage, for the screen, and in the studio has won him great acclaim. A holistic musician in the true sense of the word, he is able to access a vast melting pot of musical genres with skill and sensitivity.
Daniel was the Musical Director of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical, which was Daniel’s second world premiere in as many years, both with Global Creatures. Previously, he was Musical Director of King Kong: Live on Stage which was brand new show and collaboration with an international creative team including artists Sarah McLachlan and The Avalanches. Daniel’s other theatrical credits include Hairspray The Musical, Fame and Chicago. Daniel composed a brand new score and sound designed for La Boite’s production of The Wind in the Willows, and recently performed with Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland.
Daniel is the musical director of Dream Lover, starring David Campbell, which will have its worldwide premiere in Sydney later this year. Next year, Daniel will serve as the musical director of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
He is the personal Musical Director to the international Australian artists Simon Burke and Caroline O’Connor. In 2010, he made debuts in London’s West End and in New York, working as Caroline’s Musical Director and Arranger. He co-produced and was Musical Director for Simon Burke’s debut album Something About Always, as well as the subsequent concert of the same name at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. He and Simon collaborated on the title song for the feature film Super Awesome!
As a cabaret and concert artist, Daniel has worked with Rhonda Burchmore, David Campbell, Lucy Maunder, Paul Capsis, Lisa McCune, Tim Draxl, Esther Hannaford, Kate Miller-Heidke, Michael Falzon, Helen Dallimore, Trevor Ashley and Courtney Act.
No stranger to the studio, Daniel has performed, conducted and arranged music for many recordings, including his own debut jazz album Walking With Lions. He wrote and performed original music for Marney McQueen’s hugely successful show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and produced tracks for her recent album. He has written original music for short films Butcherbird directed by Dave Paterson and The Suitor directed by Kate Riedl. Additionally, he was a commissioned in 2006 to provide a fanfare for the Prime Minister. Daniel is also the arranger and creative advisor for Hugh Sheridan’s new international music group, California Crooners Club.

The Equity Foundation recognises the diversity of the Australian performer community and seeks to encourage a more realistic representation of Australian society on our stages and screens. To this end the Equity Foundation strongly encourages applications from performers of varied experiences, perspectives, and circumstances including performers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and performers with disabilities.



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